* - pubs with real ale.

JDW Managers

(General Manager, Scotland & N.I.);
(Area Manager N.I.);

The J.D. Wetherspoon's chain (heading for 1000 premises nationally including the RoI) was set up by Tim Martin. He opened the first pub in 1979 aged 24 (the same year he passed his Bar exams to qualify for a barrister). In 1992 he floated the chain of (then) 44 pubs on the London Stock Market. It is now worth around £850M. Martin is English by birth but was brought up in Northern Ireland and New Zealand. The name derived from J.D. "Boss" Hogg from the TV series "The Dukes of Hazard" and from a former teacher named Wetherspoon. His brother Gerry was involved in the trade as well with the pub chain Springbok.

All N. Ireland outlets cater for families and open for breakfast at 8.00 in the morning. Food is served all day, every day, until half an hour or an hour before closing (times vary so please ask).

PO BOX 616
WD24 4QU
01923 477777

Cask Marque Award


After two years working with Cask Marque and Paul Nunny to have the award scheme started in the province Cask Marque assessor, Raymond Beaton, completed his work and Paul Nunny awarded all bar one of the local JD Wetherspoon outlets with a certificate in 2000/1.

News in detail on the CASK MARQUE page.


In their "wisdom", JDW has decided to sell off five of their premises to a local business.
It now looks like five excellent cask ale outslets have gone from the province just when we needed them most! The onslaught of cloudy, and less than wholesome, "craft" beers is once again on the rampage - and at a time when beers from the wood seems to be taking off!

What a sad state of affairs.

Wetherspoon's Belfast

The Bridge Bar *

35-43 Bedford Street,
(028) 9072  7890.

A big change since the no smoking. Patio doors at the front allow access for the smokers under a canopy. The premises has large fire exit doors (ramped for wheelchairs), disabled toilet, and a low level public phone. There is a lift to the upper floor for the disabled (ask at bar for details).

Downstairs has large front windows, low and high tables, comfortable sofas with coffee tables and lots of modern paintings. Money has been spent here, and it shows. Lavish toilets includes a baby changing area (ask at bar for details).

Beer & food quality and prices are the usual Wetherspoon's consistency. The barstaff are well trained and friendly. Very busy most nights with a great mixture of people of all ages. Good, everchanging range of ales and the odd Beer & wine festivals.

Winner of "MARKSALEHOUSE" award.

The Courthouse Wetherspoon's Pub Sold

The Old Courthouse *

Castlerock Road,
Coleraine, BT51 3HP.
(028) 7032 5820

I personally believe this to be the best refurbishment of a licensed premise in the province. The front of the building, steps, patio and porch are gleaming. Walking in through the front door is breathtaking, trying to take in the lounge, circular wooden stairway, balcony and overhead windows all in one go.

Both downstairs and up has an embarrassment of wood with a lingering (imagined?) smell of government polish going back to schooldays. A rich carpet and good seating lends an air of relaxation probably not experienced in its days as a court house (built 1852). Food is the usual standard from JDW and the ales are good quality. "I will be back!"

Winner of "BFTWNI POTY" award.

The Central Bar

The Central Bar *

13-15 High Street, Carrickfergus BT38 7AN
(028) 9335 7840

Very good refurbishment of an existing bar. A great view from upstairs, overlooking the 12th. century castle and Belfast Lough with its busy ferries and other marine craft. Friendly staff, the standard Wetherspoon's fair and the ales are good. Toilets on both floors.

Linenhall Bar Wetherspoon's Pub Sold

The Linenhall *

11-13 Townhall Street,
(028) 6634 0910

Multi level bars with entrances on Main Street and opposite bus depot at rear. Painted white with black surrounds, large windows, rear balcony and brick and stone archway. The name reflects the once main business in the county. Usual Wetherspoon's food and drink. Good parking at rear (pay, but free further up road).

The Spinning Mill Wetherspoon's Pub Sold

The Spinning Mill *

17-21 Broughshane Street,
Ballymena, BT43 6EB
(028) 2563 8985

Excellent town centre pub with no music or TV's . The main bar in long and narrow with an upstairs bar and balcony. The front (listed) straddles an entrance to the beer garden with a third bar to the other side. Lots of brick, stone and reclaimed wood. Uplighters give a good airy feel to the place. Spot the leaded windows. Both bars have real ale with five hand pumps serving two guest beers. Standard JDW fare but very tasty.

Winner of the first "MARKSALEHOUSE" award.

The Diamond Wetherspoon's Pub Sold

The Diamond *

23-24 The Diamond,
Londonderry BT48 6HP.
(028) 7127 2880

A bit like Dr. Who's TARDIS, much larger on the inside than you would expect. This former furniture shop is nicely laid out with large opening windows along the front giving a semi alfresco effect. Seating is well spaced out and the upper floor has a square balcony well. The only toilets are on the first floor but there is a lift for disabled access. Parking close by can be difficult. Staff are friendly and helpful.

The Ice Wharf Wetherspoon's Pub Sold

The Ice Wharf *

(Lloyd's No.1 Bar)
22-24 Strand Road, Londonderry.
(028) 7127 6610

The first of the Lloyd's chain to open here. With a multi storey car park to the rear and large exterior glass panelling, it is easily distinguishable. Unlike the other outlets it has music and pop videos all day, plasma screens and a dance floor. Also a special menu.

Wetherspoon's Lisburn

Tuesday Bell *

Market Square, Lisburn.
(028) 9262 7390

This bar, a beautiful new two storey premise only opened, did not get off to a good start. The clientele has mainly changed and it is now quite a mixture of ages. It has a large downstairs lounge with stairs and a lift leading upstairs to another large lounge. Toilets are in the basement. It is named after the market bell  (now in the local museum) which announced Tuesday trading. great staff and a good selection of ales.

Winner of "BFTWNI POTY" award.

Wetherspoon's Newtownards

The Spirit Merchant *

54-56 Regent Street, Newtownards.

What would appear to be a small premise on the main street is in fact quite substantial. Toilets on the upstairs (I did not notice a lift). The place gets very busy at nights so get food orders in early. It has the same theme as most of the other establishments and the beer is good. Apparently the local militia appear later at night! Be advised!

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